India on Wednesday slammed Pakistan for sponsoring militancy and terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and said Islamabad should not impart lessons to it on democracy and human rights.
Hitting back at Pakistan a day after its Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi harped on giving the Kashmiri people the right to "self-determination through plebiscite", External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said Islamabad must stop its state-sponsored militancy and terrorism in the state.
"Jammu & Kashmir, which is an integral part of India, is the target of Pakistan-sponsored militancy and terrorism. Pakistan must fulfill its solemn commitment of not allowing territory under its control to be used for terrorism directed against India," he said in his firmly worded speech at the 65th UN General Assembly session in United Nations.
Krishna said the "credible and firm action by Pakistan against terrorist groups operating from its soil is in the interest of the region as it is in Pakistan's own interest."
Slamming Qureshi for his remark against Indian security forces, Krishna said, "Pakistan cannot impart lessons to us on democracy and human rights."
He said India was committed to good neighbourly relations with all our neighbours, including Pakistan.
Krishna, however, emphasised that "Pakistan has to live up to its commitment not to allow use of its soil by terrorists acting against India."
This, he said, would significantly help reduce the trust deficit that impedes the development of better bilateral relations between our two countries.
Stating that there can be no justification for terrorism just as there can be no good and bad terrorists, Krishna said it has emerged as one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
"Acts of terrorism need to be condemned by all, wherever and whenever they are committed, by whomsoever and for whatever purposes. It is important for every Member State of the UN to note that it is no longer possible to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.
"To defeat this scourge, it is imperative for the global community to build on international cooperation and take concerted action against terrorists and their sponsors," he said.
Speaking about the revamp of the UN, Krishna said, the world body needs "urgent reform to reflect contemporary realities and to effectively meet emerging global challenges."
"The UN, with its universal membership and equality of nations, enjoys a unique legitimacy that requires it to be at the centre of international governance. We must, therefore, not just reaffirm the central role of the UN in global governance but restore and reinforce it reflecting contemporary realities," he said.
Krishna assured India's commitment to the principles and purposes of the United Nations, saying the UN should be at the core of global governance and efforts to meet the challenges of collective peace, security and development.
"The changes in the global geo-strategic order since 1945 have barely been reflected in the most vital of the UN's organs, charged with the maintenance of international peace and security," he said.
"Developing countries contribute almost all the troops that are part of the UN’s peacekeeping presence worldwide. Yet, their voice on the Council’s high table on decisions relating to international peace and security is barely audible," the minister said.
He pointed out the example of Africa, which has no permanent member in the Security Council, though it is seized of conflicts in the continent.
"An overwhelming majority of the membership expressed clear support for expansion in both the permanent and the non-permanent categories of the Council along with an improvement of its working methods. It is imperative that we take these negotiations to an early and logical conclusion."
Krishna also said that India has an abiding commitment for achieving universal, non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament within a specified timeframe.
"We call for an intensification of discussion and dialogue amongst Member States and the larger non-governmental communities so as to strengthen the international consensus that can be translated into concrete action on achieving nuclear disarmament," he said.
"We remain committed to a unilateral and voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing," the minister said.
The External Affairs Minister lauded Afghanistan for conducting parliamentary elections successfully, saying "We believe the international community needs to be steadfast in its engagement with Afghanistan to ensure the success of its reconstruction efforts and its emergence as a democratic, pluralistic and prosperous society.
"The continuing existence of safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorists beyond Afghanistan's borders is the major impediment to the restoration of peace and security in Afghanistan. This should be a primary focus of the international community."